How did the helicopters crash happen on Gold Coast, Australia?

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — On Monday, December 2, two helicopters at a height of between 200 and 300 meters collided, causing a crash and the deaths of some of the passengers [four] on board. The crash happened on the Gold Coast, Queensland Australia while flights were being operated after the New Year public holiday.

The two helicopters were operated by Sea World Helicopters. At this time, analyzes are still being carried out, the wreckage is being examined and the footage of the crash is being watched. These activities are being carried out by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau [ATSB], which has taken over the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Information so far is scarce. contacted its source in Australia and here is what it learned from him.

According to sources, the crash occurred between the heights of 200 meters and 300 meters during the landing of one helicopter and the takeoff of the other helicopter. The information has not been officially confirmed, but this is the opinion of the Chief Australian Commissioner of the ATSB, Mr. Angus Mitchell. The accident, according to official data, happened in a short time interval somewhere around 14:00.

The take-off helicopter had seven people on board, while the landing helicopter had six people on board, or a total of 13 people were involved in the incident. During the take-off of the helicopter with the seven people, the main rotors of the helicopter, developing a high horizontal speed, collided with the body of the landing helicopter.

Immediately after impact, the main rotor blades of the takeoff helicopter, as well as its gearbox, separated from the helicopter body, resulting in a loss of altitude and the takeoff helicopter crashing onto the coastal sandbank. All this leads to heavy damage to the helicopter taking off.

It sounds surprising and incredible, but the landing helicopter managed to perform an “upright landing” i.e. a landing that is generally correct and expected in normal flight. This information was confirmed by Mr. Mitchell. According to ATSB inspectors currently investigating the crash, during take-off and landing, the pilots of both helicopters were subjected to a very high cognitive load.

The biggest unknown remains still shrouded in mystery. This is exactly what happened in the cockpits of the two helicopters. There are many eyewitness accounts from bystanders, as well as recorded video footage from cellphones and security cameras on buildings around the scene of the accident. They are currently being seized, with Mr. Mitchell saying the owners of these surveillance devices and mobile phones with footage of the crash have voluntarily approached the ATSB to hand over their media.

How did the helicopters crash happen on Gold Coast, Australia?
Photo credit: AAP: Dave Hunt

“What we need to know now is what was going on in the two cockpits at the time,” Mr. Mitchell said. The helicopters have now been recovered from the coastal sandbank and towed ashore where the ATSB is on-site leading the investigation. It is expected that at a later stage the helicopters will be sent to a hangar, which will allow calm and thorough work on their research.


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